Monday, October 30, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, The Lotus Flower Champion by Pintip Dunn and Love Dunn!

by Pintip Dunn and
Love Dunn
Entangled Teen
Young Adult Fantasy
400 pages

No escape. Follow the rules. And don’t count on reality—in this uniquely vibrant romantasy from NYT bestselling author Pintip Dunn and daughter Love Dunn…

It looks like paradise…only it’s not.

This was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime family trip to Thailand. One last wish for my dying mama. Instead, we’re stranded on a lush, stunning island with ten strangers—held captive as Thai mythology unfolds around us…and within us.

Now we’re being tested. We’re expected to face our greatest fears—and possible deaths—in hopes of awakening some kind of dormant gift…or curse. One by one, we’re transforming, echoing the strange and sometimes wondrous abilities found in Thai folktales.

But my mama has only days to live, my papa is missing, and I’m forced to trust a group of strangers…including our evasive, dark-eyed tour guide, who resembles a minor god. Toss me in the ocean and feed me to the naga now.

Only I’m no hero. My days are managed by numbers and the compulsions that used to keep me safe.

I have to prove how far I can go. To survive. To protect my family.

And to find a way off this perilous island where everything is a lie…including reality.



Thai mythology slams into a teen's desire for her mother and herself to survive on an island, which is filled with dangers...and not all come from the nature around them.

Alaia has only two goals during her family's vacation, to spend every possible moment with her mother and to keep a smile on her mother's face. After several rounds of chemo, it's clear her mother won't hold on much longer. While Alaia's OCD is making the stay in Thailand challenging, it's worth every effort for her mother. When an ship excursion turns into disaster, Alaia and her mother find themselves stranded with several other passengers on a deserted island. It may look like paradise, but every part of it holds unexpected dangers. Add a madman's desire to use them as guinea pigs in testing myth's reality, and Alaia isn't sure that any of them are going to survive. 

While this one didn't really hold the promised Squid Games atmosphere (the stakes are nearly high enough for that), it is a quick-paced read with enough tension to keep those pages turning. The beginning takes a little bit to settle in, but after that, the stories flows leading from one situation to the next. The island is as beautiful as it is deadly, and the other characters add the right spice at the right times. Several of these were especially strong and really dug in. The romance wasn't the most exciting, but it settles fine along the way for the extra touch. It's the Thai mythology and Alaia's own struggles, which stick out in these pages to make it worth a glance.  

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